I want to be a good person. Especially to myself first. Then to others. I read somewhere that self love is not about “only me” but it’s about “me too.” And that’s how I want it to be. For all the grace, love and mercy I extend to people, I want to extend to myself as well. There’s this line from a movie that keeps popping in my mind. “Conviction is a luxury for those in the sidelines.” In war. In battle. You got to leave black and white morality behind. It’s how it is. Most people who are hardliners when it comes to matters of abuse, toxic relationships, mental illnesses and so forth, are those who have not had the ‘blessing’ of being in the messy battle. They have the luxury of conviction. They exist in the sidelines. They have the freaking audacity to tell me how to fight even though they have never laid their eyes leave alone their hands on a damn sword. They know nothing about fighting the demon and being the demon. Still they shout. They condemn. They read my sins out loud to me and think I will go down on my knees and seek penance. Who from? And why? I am not sorry to let you know this is a matter of life and death for me. I am not in the sidelines so no, I do not share your ‘luxury’ of black and white conviction. Where is all this going you wonder. There is a time all the memories that occupied my mind were nothing but painful. Full of suffering. You see in the quest of being the better person, I had become a traitor to myself. I stayed in places that hurt me so deeply, I still have the scars bearing some names. I betrayed my heart, my mind and even my body. There were days of self starvation because I chose to show up for people rather than show up for my body. If I did the opposite, I would be bashed, condemned, ostracized and back then I was not a soldier yet. There were days of self harm. I had to keep appearances otherwise my life as I knew it would have come to an end. I wish it had. I told my mum yesterday that there were things I would not do at all if I could go back in time. Responsibilities I would dare not take. People I would dare not talk to. Company I would turn down over and over again. The pain is still there. It’s not all I see now when I close my eyes. The scars are not all I see when I look at my arms. But there are nights it all comes back. There are memories I will never write here or say them out loud because they make everything so real again. When the pain comes, do you think I do not wish pain for those who hurt me? Do you think I pray peace of mind for them? No. The truth is I don’t. I won’t lie and try to be the better person here. Say all I feel is an overflow of forgiveness for those who hurt me. No. Those who denounce mental illnesses and how crippling they are, I wish those illnesses on them sometimes. I wish they are taken out from the sidelines into the heat of the battle. I wish they are put in the furnace of suicidal thoughts. But the truth is, I don’t think they’d make it out alive so it’s better they just live. Maybe one day they will understand. Or not. It really doesn’t matter to me. I am not God to decide who lives and who doesn’t. Trust me it’s better that way. Forgiveness huh. What is forgiveness though? I don’t know how it feels like. How it tastes like. Tell me how forgiveness looks like. Those at the sidelines. Tell me how forgiveness looks like. Does it look like staying years at a place of abuse? Going back to the person to show how strong I am? Always understanding why my abuser hurts me? There’s no forgiveness here, only brokenness. Does it look like swallowing my needs down down down until I forget the pronoun I? Does it look like saying yes to everyone so that I am the best role model to God knows who? Tell me what is this forgiveness and why you never mention about me forgiving myself. I wonder how my heart has kept beating for me all this time despite the insults I have hurled at it. Despite the times I have taken it out at night, torn it apart, its blood soaking my clothes. That is what forgiveness looks like to me. That my heart, my brain, my body is still here with me. Still living. Still fighting for me when I chose not to do the same. So now I am done with being the better person. I just want to be a good person. First, to me. To my mind, to my body and to my heart. If it means letting others down, so be it. I can’t choose people’s reactions to my actions.
And that’s just the point. It is time to be good to myself. I am not in the sidelines. It’s like Inej saying to herself if Wylan doesn’t know the difference of being in chains and out of them, it was time he found out as they became prisoners. ( it’s a book okay?). To borrow a few lyrics from Shawn Mendes “I wonder what’s it’s like to be loved by you.” That is what my heart wonders. My body. My self. They wonder how it’s like for them to be loved by me. When I chastise them for being too soft. Too smart. Too caring. Too loving. Too alive. When I am so gracious to other people. When I look out for other people even if they hurt me. When I show up for other people. When I understand the personal experiences of other people and not mine. When I go out of my way for other people and not for me. When I prioritise other people’s needs above mine. When I stay at abusive places and with toxic people. When I validate other people’s experiences and doubt mine. But this time, I am going to show my body, heart and mind what it’s like for me to love them. Because this time I am choosing to be a good person to my body, heart and mind. I am choosing to be a good person to me. I am choosing to love me.
Ps. There’s going to be a part two for this. Please show up. 🙂 x